'Cometh the hour, cometh the dave': How far is the conservative party's revival all down to david cameron?
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While one can overstate the extent to which the Conservative party has changed since 2005, especially in the light of its response to the recession, the upturn in its electoral prospects is undeniable. Not surprisingly, the Conservative leader, David Cameron, is widely credited with turning around his party's fortunes. In fact, he started with several advantages over his predecessors: New Labour was well past its prime; the economy was running into trouble; and an increasingly desperate Conservative party was more willing to listen to the message that it needed to modernise and moderate. That said, Cameron has been crucial. His communication skills are unparalleled. Early success bought him time and 'permission to be heard'. Most important though, has been his determination-despite media criticism-to stick with a staged strategy focused on conveying change and a move to the centre ground while at the same time reassuring and dividing the Tory right. © 2009 The Political Quarterly Publishing Co. Ltd.